Manuscript Releases, vol. 1 [Nos. 19-96]


Independent Publishing

Yesterday I had presented to me the advisability of supplying my books direct to agents in fields where few are sold. Thus I would receive a larger income. I laid the matter before my son, W. C. White, as it had been presented to me. Then he told me how he regarded the proposition, and in conclusion said, “Mother, unless you have special direction from the Lord, I advise you to make no new moves. It will bring perplexity to others and additional care and burden to you; and you have cares and burdens enough. In every new move, we must consider the interests of the whole work.” 1MR 170.2

During the night I had instruction as to the best course to follow at this crisis. Our work now is large; many new books must be brought out; and we must handle all parts of the work wisely. We must do our best to encourage our publishing houses in America and in foreign countries. Should I as author take up the work of handling my books myself, discouragement would be brought on our offices of publication. We have urged our publishing houses to give up commercial work, and they have done this. Should we bring confusion into the subscription book work, it would give them occasion to return to commercial work, and this would bring in delays and hindrances to the work of filling the world with our literature. Letter 72, 1907, pp. 1, 2. (To E. R. Palmer, February 25, 1907.) 1MR 170.3

I have received your letter, in which you speak of a plan for you to print and sell a large number of my book, Early Writings, brought out in a new style of binding. 1MR 171.1

In the past I have given my consent to your suggestions regarding this matter, but recently I have received such positive instruction regarding the necessity of unity that I dare not give my consent to your proposition. 1MR 171.2

The Lord would have every movement made by you or by me such that it will inspire confidence in us as being led by the Lord. I should be sorry to see you do anything that would tend to lessen your influence as a wise counselor. As missionary workers, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to follow the example set by our Saviour in His ministry of love. We must manifest the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove. May God help us that we may be a blessing to His people. 1MR 171.3

I would not wish to handle my books, nor to see you handle your books in a manner that would seem to throw discredit upon the publishing houses. We must manifest wisdom in this matter. To carry out the plans you suggest would, to many, seem that we were taking advantage of circumstances to benefit ourselves.... Let your whole influence be cast to create a spirit of unity with the men who are carrying responsibilities in the publishing work. Then your words will have more influence. 1MR 171.4

You and I are being watched very critically. If we were to carry out plans that would create dissension, this might result in the loss of souls. Do not forget that many are watching to see some moves made that would seem to vindicate the wrong moves that have been made in this conference during the last few years. Let us labor earnestly to convince men that Christ came to our world to place men on vantage ground, that he might become a partaker of the divine nature. 1MR 172.1

The Lord would be pleased for you to modify your plans regarding the selling of books at low prices, lest you lead some to feel that our publishing houses were charging exorbitantly for their labor. 1MR 172.2

In your position of trust as president of the California Conference, you should take especial heed lest you give occasion for your self-sacrificing efforts to be regarded as a reflection upon the men connected with our offices of publication. You are to come as close as possible to our leading brethren. It would be a great mistake to follow methods in the publication and sale of your books that would injure your influence. Therefore, I say that it would not be wise, my brother, to carry out plans that seem to some to be contrary to fair dealing in the sale of our books. 1MR 172.3

Therefore I cannot give my consent to have any of my books handled at the present time in the way you suggest. It would make upon the minds of some of our brethren an impression that would not be desirable. Letter 94, 1908, pp. 1-3. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, March 29, 1908.) 1MR 172.4

On making inquiries regarding the publication of Early Writings, I learn that our offices at Mountain View and at Washington have just brought out, and have in stock a large edition of this book, and that they are selling a paper-covered edition for thirty-five cents. Under such circumstances therefore, it would seem unjust to them were we to endeavor to place on the market a smaller-sized book, to be sold at a low price.... 1MR 172.5

Representations that have been given me lead me to fear the plan of selling our books at too low a price. Many who would take advantage of these low prices, might just as easily pay the full price. And some who buy the books for little, would sell them to others who would have to pay the regular prices. Such a plan is bringing in an order of things that will not bring the best results. If you find worthy people who are not able to pay for a book, it is your privilege to present it to them. But you should hold your books at a price that will insure against a loss to the publishers.... 1MR 173.1

The enemy is ever seeking to scatter briers and thorns among the precious wheat. Earnest labor is required to make a success of our efforts. While certain plans may seem to be wise, and while men may have the best of motives in following them, yet if these plans result in friction, it will be found that the good results that were sought will not appear. 1MR 173.2

I dare not under present conditions do otherwise than as I have stated. While for a time there might be an enthusiasm in presenting books at a great reduction, yet there are only a few who could do this kind of work. And I cannot consent for you to do this in my behalf. We are both becoming old, and every move must bear the impress of the character of Christ. Not for a day must we venture to move unadvisedly. Looking unto Jesus constitutes real excellence of character. If we copy the pattern we shall always be safe; for Christ will be revealed in personal ministry. Let us make no mistakes, for we are sowing for eternity. 1MR 173.3

We should blend with our publishing institutions in laying and carrying out plans that will be productive of healthful unity. All should seek to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and all speak the same things. Let each serve with an eye single to the glory of God. Letter 106, 1908, pp. 1-4. (To Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, April 2, 1908.) 1MR 173.4

White Estate

Washington, D.C.